Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: American Relief Fund is not offering COVID-19 relief grants

The website claims to be the American Relief Fund and is claiming to offer $5,000 grants for every American affected by COVID-19.

HOUSTON — There are plenty of grant programs designed to help people who have taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. When one woman saw an offer that looked too good to be true, she turned to the VERIFY team.

The website claims to be the American Relief Fund “offering $5,000 grants for every American affected by COVID-19.”

It includes a short video and names big-brand corporations, such as McDonald’s and Subway, as funding partners.

Our sources for this are Bashir Katbi, Director of the American Relief Fund and Steven Worley, Senior Director of Communications for the International Franchise Association. The IFA advocates for and protects more than 700,000 businesses across the United States.

First, a little background. The American Relief Fund is a nonprofit that helps Syrian refugees and orphans overseas. Kabti told the VERIFY team the group has not expanded its mission to help people recover from COVID-19 and they did not create the relief grant website that is in question.

“No, we didn't do that, and we have not gotten any grants from donors or any of the names that you mentioned,” Kabti said.

There is a reason for that. The IFA said its members, Subway and McDonald’s, are not contributors.

“We have never heard of that,” Worley said.

Worley said the IFA is now taking steps to help the businesses misrepresented in the ad.

“It wouldn't surprise me to see things like cease and desist letters in order to try to take whatever legal action is available to remove their names from this website,” Worley said.

So, we can VERIFY the American Relief Fund is not offering a grant to help people affected by COVID-19.

RELATED: VERIFY: No, the photo of Houston's mayor, police chief not wearing masks is not from George Floyd rally

RELATED: VERIFY: Face mask exemption cards are fake

RELATED: VERIFY: A positive COVID-19 test result will not affect your health care premiums

Send us a news tip | Download our app#HTownRush Newsletter

Great news if you watch TV with an antenna

KHOU has just upgraded its technology.  If you were unable to receive KHOU with your antenna in the past, try again on channel 11.11.  You may have to rescan your channels for it to work – if that’s the case, we’ve got some instructions at KHOU.com/antenna.  If you already see KHOU on 11.1, you may now ALSO see it on 11.11 – it’s the exact same programming.  We’re really excited to be able to bring our KHOU 11 News, CBS shows and sports, Wheel of Fortune, Ellen and Great Day Houston to more homes around the area.  If you’re still having trouble, please contact us here and we’ll try to get you set up.

Before You Leave, Check This Out